NPCC eyeing offshore projects outside Gulf

National Petroleum Construction Co. (NPCC) is more optimistic over its prospects in 2012 after what it calls a “flat” 2011.

Offshore staff

ABU DHABI, UAE -- National Petroleum Construction Co. (NPCC) is more optimistic over its prospects in 2012 after what it calls a “flat” 2011.

“At least four to five mega projects will be launched by Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) with huge packages in billions of dollars and we see opportunities there,” said CEO Aqeel Madhi. ADNOC is expected to launch further offshore projects to boost oil and gas output.

NPCC also plans to target projects in Saudi Arabia and India, as well as new markets farther afield such as Angola, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, and Southeast Asia.

The company has been active in Qatar but does not expect to pitch for big contracts until 2013 due the country’s moratorium on developing new fields.

In September, NPCC in combination with Technip won a $500-million offshore construction contract from Abu Dhabi's ZADCO. However, the company has faced strong competition in the Middle East this year from other Asian fabricators bidding for projects across the Gulf, and ended up winning fewer projects than before.

Madhi said: “We face aggressive competition from Koreans, Chinese and Indian companies who offer unrealistic prices.”

In order to improve its prospects in the target regions where major offshore projects are planned, the company is investing $500 million to upgrade its offshore fleet, including building new vessels. It may also try to acquire an engineering specialist in Europe or the United States to support this aim – Mahdi said the acquisition could be completed by March.

NPCC is funding its investment through equity and debt from commercial banks, Mahdi added.

12/30/2011

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